They were not known for their religious and theological insights but Sonny and Cher, pop music artists, often sang a song…”And the Beat goes on.” In this article we see that the inner man and evil continue since the historical event of Cain and Able (Old Testament, Genesis 4)
Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.
What a testimony this is. It was clear to all, that Daniel was unwavering in his relationship with his God. If this may be the only chink in our life’s armor we need not worry! This also is a perfect example of the “full armor of God as found in the New Testament…Ephesians 6:10-18.
Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live forever.
As an aside, Chuck Missler points out that the idea of kings and rulers being immortal continues to this day but has its root in Genesis 6 with the Nephilim! Note one person is missing in this assembly…DANIEL.
*All the presidents of the kingdom, the *governors, and the princes, the counselors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.
As we saw in chapter three with the Chaldeans trying to entrap Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, so we see here. Do you notice the lie in their speech?
*JIV NOTE: ‘All the presidents…’ – no it wasn’t! Do not be put off by people who try to unsettle you with ‘everyone knows….’ Or ‘all scholars agree…’ type statements. Usually, the bolder the statement the shakier the foundation. Governors are also identified as Satraps.
Their petition is calculated to appeal to the king’s ego; yet as is so often the case, behind the things that puff us up is a unwavering in his relationship with his God. One of deceit.
These men started with jealousy, moved onto hatred, then onto scheming, then onto lying and deceit. Sin will always take one further than s/he wants to go, keep one longer than s/he want to stay, and costs one more than s/he wants to pay.
Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.
As mentioned earlier in our study, whatever king Nebuchadnezzar said went, He was the Law! And hence was represented as the head of gold in chapter two. But now in the Medo-Persian kingdom, the king is now bound by the law. Although Medo-Persian was physically larger than Babylon, its power was not as great so was represented by silver and not gold. Check our motives. Paul warned Timothy in 1 Tim 3:1-6 “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless…….Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.”
Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.
“The decree of Darius the Mede with regard to the den of lions was easy of execution, inasmuch as at that time lions were common in all that part[s] of the world. The Assyrian kings were wont to hunt lions as a pastime. Thus Tiglath–Pileser I says that he killed 920 lions in one hunting expedition; and Ashurnasirpal says that he killed at one time 120 lions and that at another time he captured 50 young lions and shut them up in Calah and in the palaces of his land in cages and let them produce their young. At another time he killed 370 strong lions. In his menagerie [zoo], he says, also, that he had herds of wild oxen, elephants, lions, birds, wild asses, gazelles, dogs, panthers, and all animals of the mountains and of the plains, to show to his people. Moreover, the Hebrew poets and prophets were familiar with lions; the people, also, made proverbs concerning them; and their heroes, such as Samson and David, are said to have slain them.” (Robert D Wilson – Studies In Daniel)
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled [as was his custom for many years] upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
This is another significant verse. Jerusalem lay in ruins, Daniel had not seen it for almost 70 years, and yet he prays towards it in accordance to Solomon’s petition as recorded in 2 Chronicles 6:34-39: “If thy people go out to war against their enemies by the way that thou shalt send them, and they pray unto thee toward this city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name; Then hear thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause… and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee.”
This is where Mohammed decreed that all Muslims must pray toward Mecca.
Daniel’s prayer life was habitual and it was the easiest thing in the world for him to pray when trouble arose. How often do we stumble at the first hurdle when trials come simply because we are not in the habit of taking everything to God in prayer? As the song goes… “all because we do not carry; everything to God in prayer.”
“he kneeled upon his knees..”. There are many ways to pray, and limitless places to pray, but shutting yourself away and praying on your knees seems to make our physical body more in tune with the spiritual. Pray in closets as instructed by Jesus three versus before he examples the Lord’s Pray…not in auditorium or sanctuaries. It blocks out distratcions around us. Peter made the error of being distracted by the roaring and raging seas or environment around him when he sank into it. Jesus said: “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matt 6:6). In probably Jesus’ most intense prayer in the garden of Gethsemane we read “he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,” (Luke 22:41)
In the book of Acts we read of Peter when he prayed for Tabitha (also called Dorcas) after she had become sick and died; we read: “But Peter put them all forth,
and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.” (Acts 9:40)
(JIV NOTE): It is said that Peter was known as ‘old camel knees’ because of the calluses on his knees. He spent in many hours in prayer while on his knees.
When we address the Creator God of the Universe we should do so with humility and privacy of heart. Not as the Pharisees on a street corner.
Now we get to the real meat of this verse:
kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks
God, as he did aforetime.
Many of us, if we are honest, struggle to pray once a day ‘on our knees’ or in our prayer closet i.e. actually putting time aside specifically to pray. It is of course right and proper that we pray ‘on the go’, Paul said that we should “pray without ceasing” (1 Thes 5:17), “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Eph 6:18); However, this is not to be a substitute for going into our room, shutting the door and spending some quality time with God. For Daniel on the other hand, this was a way of life, …as he did aforetime. Daniels prayer should embody our prayers.
Paul said: “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any” (1 Corinthians 6:12)
It is also important to notice how Daniel behaves in this situation, for the days are coming where those who would accuse us will be watching our every move, looking for an opportunity to entrap us.
SPECIAL NOTE: In Canada it is an offence to declare that Jesus is the only way under their ‘hate crimes’ laws. In various European countries pastors have been arrested for taking a Biblical stand against homosexuality. It is most likely theologically true that the church won’t go through the Great Tribulation, but we would be naive if we thought we would escape persecution altogether. Jesus said that in this world we would be persecuted, and that the world would hate us (John 16:1-3).
Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.
The whole thing was such an obvious set-up. If ‘these men’ refers to the same crowd mentioned in verses 4 & 5, it may have been all 120 satraps and the other two presidents.
Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king’s decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.
They had no need to ask if the king had signed such a decree because they had written it and taken it to him to sign in the first place. Their sole purpose was to REMIND HIM of the decree. During Neb’s time he was the law. Now the king was under the law of ruler-ship.
Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.
Now their plan comes to light, as does the fact that they had been watching him. Notice how they try to insult Daniel and put him down: ‘That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah’ – INSINUATING: ‘this guy is only a slave and from Judah at that’.
Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him.
Notice that the king is not cross with Daniel. He is cross with himself for being so naive. How quick we are to try and undo what has been done when we realize the error of our ways. How was 62 year old Darius going to explain this to Cyrus next time he was in town and asks to speak to that incredible old Jewish man? Hmmm? I fed him to the lions?
15 Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.
16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
With no way out the king does what he had to do. Did Darius have faith that God would deliver Daniel, or was he just hoping? Probably more of a hopeless way of excusing himself from the decree. In short, he puts the responsibility of the outcome in the God of Daniel. Similar to trying to “wash his hands” of the whole deal (Matthew 27:24).